Fact: You don't need to stay indoors to party this New Year's Eve in Miami Beach. You can get wild, weird, and wasted in the middle of Ocean Drive.
Another fact: You can't buy beer inside a store on the Beach after midnight. No matter what day of the year. So if you wanna keep drinking after the fireworks explode, you'll have to go to a bar. A free one. That way, you'll have more money to drink.
Here are the top five Miami Beach bars with no cover on NYE 2012.
Miami Beach New Year's Eve 2011
Lush South Beach, 233 12th St., Miami Beach; 305-801-8301; lushsobe.com. This bar's motto is "Daycare for drunks." It's about the size of two South Beach studio apartments, and there's a beer bong, a pool table, and a stripper pole. This rock 'n' roll surf dive is a great place to get wasted, and you might even run into LeBron James's mom having a cocktail.
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Ted's Hideaway, 124 Second St., Miami Beach; 305-532-9869. This late-night hangout always brings in your favorite bartenders, valet drivers (let's hope after work), and service workers. This year's In-the-Biz New Year's Eve party will go till 7 o'clock in the morning. Go raise a breakfast beer at the Hideaway.
Abraxas Lounge, 407 Meridian Ave., Miami Beach; 305-534-9005; abraxaslounge.com. WTF is an Abraxas, you ask? It's an ancient Greek term that was carved into rare gemstones used as charms. Even though this joint doesn't serve liquor, it's still the place to go for choice brews. There's also a nice wine selection, zero attitude, and some of SoBe's most comfortable neighborhood digs.
Happy's Stork Lounge, 1872 79th St. Cswy., North Bay Village; 305-865-3621. You will not read about this joint in any lame national magazines' lists of the best bars in America, because it is actually too cool and divey for them. When you really want to get messed up in public with a revolving cast of lowlifes, losers, outsiders, Ponzi schemers, pirates, cougars, hustlers, knucklers, brawlers, grifters, drunks, locals, ramblers, and party animals, this is the place.
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Purdy Lounge, 1811 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach; 305-531-4622; purdylounge.com. If you wanna get wild in the bar across the street from Maurice Gibbs Memorial Park (yeah, the dude from the Bee Gees), this is the only joint in the world to do it. Disco might be dead, but the party lives on. Happy new year! And have an awesome 2012.